So, we are now five days out from my first day of teaching at UW-Stout. It’s an exciting time, and I am sufficiently prepared for the first few days of class.

As I think I have mentioned before, I will be teaching two sections of Calculus I and one section of Intro College Math II (Transcendental Functions, i.e. Pre-Calculus). Or did I mention it previously on my blog?

Well, I guess that may be a review, or maybe not.

The textbooks in both classes have a preliminary chapter: the calculus class calls it “Chapter 0,” and the pre-calculus textbook calls it “Chapter R.”

The first three days of class will consist of review of topics from algebra, in each class that I teach.  It seems strange, but both calculus and pre-calculus require a good grasp of algebra!

However, it is slightly annoying to me to prepare the courses for these days, as I sort of want to hop around between sections in the preliminary material, and not spend TOO long on review.

One of my shortcomings with teaching that I have found is that I tend to be too forward-going in classes. I didn’t schedule many review days when I taught Calculus III in EXCEL last summer, and I feel it was difficult for the students that it was just go-go-go.

I have set up my schedules this year, in addition to the three preliminary days, to have review a day before each exam. I am not exactly sure how I want to do said review: lecture? Group work? Practice exam? Something else?

I have also found it difficult and time-consuming to set up the review, since it’s not as well-defined as what will happen later. Being that this is the first time that I have taught either pre-calculus or Calculus I, the background material may end up working well to get them into the class, or it may fall flat on its face.

Each time that I teach, I am going not only into a classroom, but into a laboratory! The lab of teaching practice!

But, before I get too far into work, one thing that I will enjoy is the fact that with online homework, it will cut down my grading responsibilities by a good percentage. But I’ll still be doing a lot of grading with written homework assignments, quizzes, and tests!

Professors at Stout have hammered into me that it is a significant change for me, but that is part of life. If it were always smooth sailing, life would be boring!


Math 121: 5 days.

Rosh Hashanah: 10 days.

Memorial Stadium: 50 days.

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